Athlete Profile: Marc Toh-rrific!

May 30th, 2010

Athlete Profile: Marc Toh-rrific!


Marc’s Before Shot


Marc’s After Shot


Marc in Action


About six months ago, I offered clients at CFO a free diet evaluation allowing them take a closer look at their eating habits to see what areas may need improvement.  Marc took me up on the offer and quickly got to work on making some significant changes to his diet.  I’m really excited about all the progress that he’s made and I’d like to highlight his hard work and success in this week’s post.

1. What kinds of changes have you made to your diet since you joined CFO?

The first major change I made to my diet was to go on the Zone around July 2009.  I started with the 40:30:30 proportion and I immediately saw rapid fat loss.  However I knew I needed to address food quality as well.  At that time the majority of my protein came from dairy.  I slowly moved toward eggs, meat and fish.  Since the beginning of the year, I’ve completely eliminated all grains, dairy and alcohol.

It took me some time to settle on the amount of protein I need.  When I started I had no idea what my lean body mass, so I started with 16 blocks.  In October I got fat tested and from that I determined I needed 18 blocks.  I upped it to 20 grams early this year, based on activity level.

The biggest amounts I’ve played with are the carbs and fat.  Initially, I halved the carbs, mainly because it got tedious trying to find so many carb blocks.  That ended up producing better results.  Then I reduced it again to a quarter of my protein blocks.  So now I’m at 20 Protein 5 Carbs 40 Fat.

2. What’s worked and what hasn’t?

I try not to be obsessive about it, but knowing the amount of food I’m consuming has worked well for me.  I’ve tried to go unweighed, unmeasured but I tended to overeat.  I know there are so many more things I can do to refine what I eat, such as getting most of my carbs from veggies rather than fruit.   But with the constraints of my lifestyle I try and eat the best I can as circumstances allow.  Overall, I would say it’s working.  I’ve gone from 10.1% body fat in October to 9.5% in March. I feel better, am able to handle what life throws at me much better.

3. How difficult was it to make these changes?

It was not such a dramatic change for me.  It was a matter of simply tweaking what I was eating normally.  I was already eating a lot of meat, loved fruits and veggies.  Most of the adjustment was in the carbs.  I loved bread, rice and noodles, as well as beans, corn and potatoes.

The hardest part for me as far as carbs were concerned was getting off rice and noodles.  It just seemed such an un-Asian thing to do.  It was very much a mental and emotional thing, as are most issues related to food.  I made a commitment to eliminate those from my diet and it has been surprisingly easy.  And who hasn’t had trouble cutting back on sweets – my big weakness?  Ice cream, cheesecake and chocolate.  Mmmmmm.

As far as beverages were concerned,  I never drank much soda, so eliminating that was easy.  Same with alcohol.

In general, it’s been hard finding quality meals, especially since I spend half my time away from home, in airports and hotels.  Protein is the hardest to find, so I’m always thrilled when the hotel has eggs for breakfast, especially when they’re free.  But as insurance I travel with enough protein to last me 4 days and a pound of almonds.  The other difficulty is finding the time in the day to squeeze 5 meals in my waking hours with a reasonable amount of time in between.

4. What’s changes have you seen in your performance, energy, mood, overall health? 

The biggest benefit I’ve noticed is that my energy levels stay fairly constant throughout the day.  It’s helped me adapt to constant time changes, odd hours and long days.  Some days I’m up at 4am on the east coast and the next day I’m up till midnight on the west coast.  I’m generally in a much better mood.  I’ve been able to keep illness away much better than before.  I made it through the past winter without getting sick.

I don’t know if it’s related, but the month of May has historically been the worst month for me during allergy season.  But this year, I’ve only had one day when I exhibited severe symptoms.

As for CF-related performance, I’m obviously not making the kind of progress I dream about, but given the life I lead, I am pretty satisfied that I do make slow steady progress.  I’ll typically get a PR once a week. 

Overall, I feel l am the healthiest I’ve ever been and can take on what challenges life will throw at me. That to me is the most important measure of success.

 Give props to Marc in comments.  Or, if you have a similar story feel free to share it with us!

DISCUSSION 17 Comments

  1. Tamara June 1, 2010 at 12:54 am

    I’d hit that 

  2. sierra dawn June 1, 2010 at 1:02 am

    Tom, you’re such a stickler and that’s why I love you! Just so you know, I do extra fat, too. Lots of it.

  3. Brandon B June 1, 2010 at 1:31 am

    That second picture of Marc evokes an image of another Mark…

  4. Melissa June 1, 2010 at 1:39 am

    A pilot with a body like that?! Yowza. Congratulations, Marc!! Hope your foot is healing well (ouch).

  5. Robyn June 1, 2010 at 2:45 am

    King of the Hotel Gym WOD’s…. You sir, are no slacker.  Nice work.

  6. michael g June 1, 2010 at 3:43 am

    i think marc has now challenged lance as cfo’s transformation poster boy.

    nice work marc.

  7. Marc June 1, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Thanks everyone.  It really helps to have a supportive community like the one we have here at CFO.

  8. Lydia Encinas June 1, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    I love before/after photos, I think they’re truly inspirational, you should be very proud of your progress!

    I thought the after photo pose looks more like Bad Brad- at least the one he sends out to everyone, right?

  9. Pooja May 31, 2010 at 6:00 am

    Wow what a transformation!

    Congratulations Marc!  Your hard work has really paid off! 

  10. Bad Brad May 31, 2010 at 7:21 am

    wow, impressive, dang

  11. mune May 31, 2010 at 8:29 am

    daaaaaaammmmmmm!!!!!! U hella look good 

  12. Justin McNulty May 31, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Marc, Strong work buddy! You are the pilot with a STRONGER new outlook, and the results to prove it.

  13. manwellg May 31, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Is it just me, or does the before picture look like Bad Brad’s after picture?

  14. sierra dawn May 31, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Marc, I knew you had gotten more fit, but I had no idea that the change was that extreme. Good work. I think you and I are the only ones still on the zone at this point – you know what they say, if it ain’t broke…

  15. Bad Brad May 31, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Manwell, my cholo, my friend – keep it up and I will be doing the next WOD in a speedo.

  16. Hung May 31, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Great work, Marc!

  17. TomC May 31, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    I don’t know, Sierra, I may disagree with you here. Barry Sears probably would not recognize that diet as The Zone. It sounds like a weighed and measured, low carb, Paleoish diet to me. It has higher protein, much higher fat, and substantially fewer carb blocks than Sears would recommend. I don’t think this qualifies as The Zone, even if the quantities are expressed in blocks, and that’s probably for the best. Congratulations on your progress, Marc. When you are ready to get fat again, talk to me and I will show you the way. :)

    All this talk of food makes me think of Liopleurodon, a large marine dinosaur that roamed seas during the later part of Jurassic era (maybe 160 to 155 million years ago). I would refer to this dinosaur as bad ass, although not quite as bad ass a T. Rex. It’s tough to tell how big Liopleurodon actually was because we have very few complete skeletons. However, it is very possible this guy got to 25 feet long. Great white sharks are about 13 to 17 feet by comparison. A Liopleurodon skull is pretty damn scary looking and I like that.